Article Abstract

Clinical applications of free medial tibial flap with posterior tibial artery for head and neck reconstruction after tumor resection

Authors: Qi Zhong, Jugao Fang, Zhigang Huang, Xiaohong Chen, Lizhen Hou, Yang Zhang, Pingdong Li, Hongzhi Ma, Hongbo Xu


Tumor resection causes damage in the head and neck which creates problems in swallowing, chewing, articulation, and vision, all of which seriously affect patients’ quality of life. In this work, we evaluated the application of a free medial tibial flap in reconstruction of head and neck defects after tumor resection. We discussed the anatomy, surgical technique, and the advantages and disadvantages of the flap. We found several benefits for the flap, such as, it is especially effective for the defects that require thin-layer epithelium to cover or the separated soft tissue defect; a two-team approach can be used because the donor site is far away from the head and neck; and the flap is easy to integrate because of the subcutaneous fat layer of the free medial tibial flap is thin and the flap is soft. Thus, the medial tibial flap could replace the forearm flap for certain applications.

Keywords: Head and neck; free flap; posterior tibial artery; reconstruction